North Carolina residents Nathan and Samantha Harvey walked by dead fish to get to their house after floodwaters receded in Wilmington.
Officials are warning residents to stay out of contaminated coastal waters to avoid infections such as earaches, hepatitis, skin rashes and respiratory issues, the North Carolina Coastal Federation said.
“The public continues to swim in the ocean and sounds despite these advisories,” said Todd Miller, executive director of the federation. “We feel it’s vital to let people know that the state has not yet tested any waters to determine if they are safe for human contact.”
Cooper said flooding has increased the population of mosquitoes, which can bring illnesses such as encephalitis, West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis. He’s ordered $4 million to help fund mosquito control in affected counties.
Aside from the parasites, flooding remains a concern.
The county, which dodged the brunt of then-Hurricane Florence’s ferocious winds, sits at the mouths of the Waccamaw, Great Pee Dee and Sampit rivers.
The Waccamaw River crested Wednesday, and will start a slow fall Thursday. The Great Pee Dee and the larger Waccamaw River had swollen to record levels upstream, and in some areas water was headed downstream at historic levels.